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Title: Impact of Charge Degradation on the Life Cycle Climate Performance of a Residential Air-Conditioning System

Vapor compression systems continuously leak a small fraction of their refrigerant charge to the environment, whether during operation or servicing. As a result of the slow leak rate occurring during operation, the refrigerant charge decreases until the system is serviced and recharged. This charge degradation, after a certain limit, begins to have a detrimental effect on system capacity, energy consumption, and coefficient of performance (COP). This paper presents a literature review and a summary of previous experimental work on the effect of undercharging or charge degradation of different vapor compression systems, especially those without a receiver. These systems include residential air conditioning and heat pump systems utilizing different components and refrigerants, and water chiller systems. Most of these studies show similar trends for the effect of charge degradation on system performance. However, it is found that although much experimental work exists on the effect of charge degradation on system performance, no correlation or comparison between charge degradation and system performance yet exists. Thus, based on the literature review, three different correlations that characterize the effect of charge on system capacity and energy consumption are developed for different systems as follows: one for air-conditioning systems, one for vapor compression water-to-water chillermore » systems, and one for heat pumps. These correlations can be implemented in vapor compression cycle simulation tools to obtain a better prediction of the system performance throughout its lifetime. In this paper, these correlations are implemented in an open source tool for life cycle climate performance (LCCP) based design of vapor compression systems. The LCCP of a residential air-source heat pump is evaluated using the tool and the effect of charge degradation on the results is studied. The heat pump is simulated using a validated component-based vapor compression system model and the LCCP results obtained using the three charge degradation correlations are compared.« less
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  1. University of Maryland, College Park
  2. ORNL
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Conference: 15th International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference at Purdue, West Lafayette, IN, USA, 20140714, 20140717
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)
Sponsoring Org:
EE USDOE - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE)
Country of Publication:
United States
LCCP; Low GWP; Air Conditioning